Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni called on Saturday during the G7 summit in Japan, the International Monetary Fund, to adopt a “pragmatic” approach to disbursing financing to Tunisia without preconditions.
“Tunisia is in a very difficult situation, with clear political fragility and an imminent risk of default,” the Italian Prime Minister said during a session with the other leaders of the seven major industrialized countries, adding, according to statements conveyed by her delegation, that “negotiations between the International Monetary Fund and Tunisia are in fact stalled.” “.
According to Meloni, the international financial institution is showing “intransigence”, because it “did not obtain” from Tunisian President Kais Saied “all the necessary guarantees”. “On the one hand, it’s understandable, but on the other hand, is this intransigence the best way forward? If this government falls, do we know the alternatives? I think this approach has to be practical, otherwise we risk exacerbating an already bad situation,” she explained.
On the sidelines of the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Meloni met with the Director-General of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva, and the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, to discuss “the issue of migration, and in particular Tunisia,” according to the same Italian source.
The same source said: “US President Joe Biden and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, joined them for a short period.” France also considers completing an aid program between Tunisia and the International Monetary Fund a “priority”.
Tunisia, which is heavily indebted at the level of 80% of the gross domestic product, obtained initial approval from the International Monetary Fund in mid-October to obtain a new loan of about two billion dollars, to help it overcome its serious financial crisis.
But the talks reached a dead end due to Tunisia’s failure to restructure more than 100 heavily indebted public institutions and to lift subsidies on some basic products.
Westerners worry about the lack of progress and the possible collapse of the Tunisian economy. In Europe, leaders, including Meloni, fear that this will lead to a significant increase in the number of migrants arriving on European shores.